Holiday Small Talk

Sandra wants to know the best approach to handling Thanksgiving and the subject of money. Dave recommends the Bobblehead approach.

QUESTION: Sandra wants to know the best approach to handling Thanksgiving and the subject of money. Dave recommends the Bobblehead approach.

ANSWER: Leave it alone. Adopt the Bobblehead. That’s what a buddy of mine says, and that’s the best thing I can think of. When you’re sitting with relatives who you disagree with, here’s the plan: You’re not going to change their minds by arguing with them. I’ve tried. I’ve had these discussions with relatives, not necessarily about my money plan but maybe politics or maybe anything. You’re not going to, over Thanksgiving dinner, turn a Democrat into a Republican. I wish you could, but you can’t. It’d be helpful if you could. It’s frustrating. It’s not going to happen. They’re baiting you because they’re a little jealous, a little intrigued with your weirdness, and so just smile and say, "You know what? That’s working for us.” And just Bobblehead. But don’t sit and try to teach them how to get out of debt. They don’t want to know how to get out of debt. They’re not asking how to get out of debt. Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still. So Bobblehead. Just nod your head. Your neck will be sore because you’ll be doing it all day long. There’s no sense in arguing with them. It serves no purpose. It’s not going to change them, and you’re just going to get frustrated.

If somebody wants to know—and they really do want to know—then you pull them off to the side and talk about it. You don’t talk about what they need to do. You talk about what you’re doing. And I know you’re really excited because you’re making progress and for the first time in your life, you have control of your money. But people don’t care. If you start telling them all the things they’re doing wrong and all the things they have to fix, it won’t work.